January 17, 1996
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ussian troops continue assault; armed rebels stage new raids
Eight-day-old hostage drama continues in war-tom Chechnya
the Russians aboard, and threatened to kill one
Russian every 10 minutes unless it set sail,
reported the Turkish news agency Anatolia.,The
Chechens claimed to have killed one Russian; a
Russian woman who escaped told Anatolia that
several people aboard were wounded.
It was unclear how many Russians were among
the 120 passengers and 45 crew members of the
ferry, which had been due to cross the Black Sea
to the Russian resort of Sochi.
Turkish officials sealed off the port and
opened negotiations with the Chechens. Two
hours later, the captain emerged from hiding
aboard the vessel and set sail for an unknown
Predominantly Muslim Turkey sympathizes
with the Chechen separatist cause, but has
avoided pressing the issue for the sake of its
relations with Moscow.
Russian media reported as many as 29 cap-
tives have escaped from Pervomayskaya but
local authorities here knew of only 18.
The Chechens stormed Kizlyar and took cap-
tives to pressure Yeltsin to withdraw his forces
from their tiny Muslim homeland. .
Engler to reveal
tax, welfare plans
in annl address
LANSING (AP) - Gov. John Engler wants to
make it easier for welfare recipients to get a job
and give about 500,000 taxpayers a break on
filing state income tax returns, according to pub-
Engler will use his annual State of the State
address tonight to unveil the moves, the Detroit
Free Press and News reported yesterday.
The proposals, kicking off a new legislative
agenda in an election year, follow a year that saw
many of Engler's tax cuts, welfare revisions and
education changes win approval.
Engler also is expected to announce - either
during the speech or sometime soon - the merger
of the Departments of Public Health and Mental
Health, according to Gongwer News Service Inc.
But that change is less certain to be part of today's
The welfare plan, called Project Zero, doesn't
promise an end to welfare, only measures to put
recipients to work, the Free Press reported.
"There will be mutual responsibility," said
Gerald Miller, director of the state Department of
Social Services. "We're going to deal with the
issues that keep people from going to work ... and
then we'll expect them to work."
Project Zero will include additional state spend-
ing for child care, transportation, job counseling
and training and substaice abuse services. It will
initially target the west side of Detroit, the city of
Romulus and the counties of Ottawa, Midland,
Alpena and Menominee, Miller said.
Engler spokesman John Truscott declined to
estimate the overall cost of Project Zero. But he
said Engler will propose a $30-million increase in
child care services in the next state budget.
State of 'the State Address
Gov. John Engler's speech to the Legislature
will air on TV and radio at 7 o'clock tonight.
WTVS-TV (Channel 56) will air the speech
in Metro Detroit.
WWJ AM Radio (AM 950) will also carry
the address live,
The Democratic rebuttal will be given by
state Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith (D-South
Lyons) on WKAR-TV (Channel 23)
immediately following Engler.
Benefits to welfare recipients who are able to
work but decline to do so will be ended, Miller
said. Community service -already demanded of
some recipients - will be a part of Project Zero,
The plan does not require the Legislature's
approval. The program will begin in some of the
targeted areas within a few months, Miller said.
Sheldon Danziger, a professor of social welfare
and public policy at the University, questioned
how welfare recipients' education and skills would
help them find meaningful work.
"They're pushing against a labor market that is
moving away from the kinds of low-skill jobs that
a welfare recipient is typically qualified to fill,"
Danziger told the Free Press.
Under the tax filing plan, anyone earning less
than $200 in interest payments, investments and
other income outside annual wages could check
a "no file, no form" box on their W-2 wage
Council appoints lawyer
for city attorney suit
Donaldson said the first lady has em-
phasized children's issues, especially is-
sues about children's health care, before
and throughout herhusband's presidency.
"It is a cause of particular interest to
her," Donaldson said.
After her appearance at the hospital,
C ton is scheduled to arrive at Bor-
d a Books and Music at noon. She will
not be speaking, but she will greet fans.
Autographed copies of the book will
be available for purchase at Borders
today for 10-percent off the list price of
$20. Books will be pre-signed with her
"We're all ready for Hillary Rodham
Clinton," said Barbara Bach, a member
of the fan club.
(Right) The Michigan
Theatre devoted their
marquee to welcoming
the first lady to town.
By Will Weissert
Daily Staff Reporter
The Ann ArborCity Council unanimously passed
a resolution last night authorizing local attorney
Bruce Wallace to represent the city in a lawsuit filed
by third-year Law student Jon Polish.
In the suit, Polish charged that a contract of-
fered to city attorney-appointee Abigail Elias
violates the city charter because it allows Elias at
least one year to move to Ann Arbor.
Under the contract that Elias signed in Novem-
ber, she will earn more than $85,000 and must
start work before April 1.
According to the city charter, "a person is
eligible to hold a city office if the person has been
a registered elector of the city .. for at least one
year immediately preceding election or appoint-
ment." It also specifies that a city office will
become vacant if the official that holds that office
moves out of the city.
Acting city attorney John Van Loon asked Wallace
to take the Polish case for the city on a pro bono basis.
Van Loon, who also was a candidate for city
attorney, chose to appoint private representation
to avoid a potential conflict of interest, Mayor
Ingrid B. Sheldon said.
"It would be an impossible conflict for John to
handle the responsibilities," said Polish's attor-
ney, Thomas Wieder.
Wallace worked for the city in the past and was a
member ofthe city attorney search committee, which
was responsible for offering the position to Elias.
"Bruce is an excellent litigator and I would
certainly support him working in a pro bono role
for the city," said councilmember David Kwan(R-
Wallace and the city have not yet responded to the
lawsuit, filed Jan, 3. They have one week to answer.
$tate Medicaid to pay for rape, incest abortions
LANSING (AP) - Michigan must
obey a federal requirement that it pay
for abortions for poor women pregnant
as a result of rape or incest, a federal
appeals panel ruled yesterday.
e unanimous decision from the 6th
uit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati
throws out part of the state's voter-ap-
proved ban on Medicaid abortions not
necessary to save the life of the woman.
"For the few women who are af-
fected, this is lifesaving," said Eve
Gartner, attorney with the Center for
For the few women who are
affeced, this is lifesaving'
Attorney with the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy
the 25 percent of the 1.2 million people
on Medicaid who are enrolled in health
maintenance organizations, for which
the state does not see bills for individual
Gartner said she expects the state
will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to
review the case but she doubts the high
court will do so. The high court yester-
day rejected a similar request from Ne-
braska. It had rejected another appeal
last month and two others in 1980, she
Court hear it since we've lost a number
of times," Truscott said.
"Given the Supreme Court's ruling
on another case and what's going in
for abortions in cases of rape and incest.
Then the Clinton administration issued
rules requiring states in the Medicaid
program to pay for those abortions.